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Video Clips in Church Service Communicate Preaching Is Weak

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By John Piper, Christian Post Guest Columnist
March 31, 2012|5:11 pm

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

What are your thoughts on drama, movie clips, and the like in a church service?

I'll start with the freedom that we have in Christ, and then I'll move to the position that I operate in.

The New Testament isn't explicit on forbidding using a screen to put the lyrics up, or to put the scene of a waterfall behind it, or to make the waterfall actually move behind it, or to show a picture of your fishing trip to illustrate the big fish that you caught and how your people should now go out and be "fishers of men." The Bible doesn't forbid it.

I'll be gone in a few years and you can do whatever you want to do, but I believe profoundly in the power and the till-Jesus-comes-validity of preaching. And by that I mean the spirit-anointed exposition of the Scripture through clear explanations and applications of what's there. There's something God-appointed about that.

I think the use of video and drama largely is a token of unbelief in the power of preaching. And I think that, to the degree that pastors begin to supplement their preaching with this entertaining spice to help people stay with them and be moved and get helped, it's going to backfire. It's going to backfire.

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It's going to communicate that preaching is weak, preaching doesn't save, preaching doesn't hold, but entertainment does. And we'll just go further and further. So we don't do video clips during the sermon. We don't do skits.

I went to a drama at our church four days ago. I believe in drama. I believe in the power of drama. But let drama be drama! And let preaching be preaching! Let's have the arts in our churches, but don't try to squash it all into Sunday morning. So I get worked up about these things.

That's where I am on that. Free. Nobody is going to go to hell because of this, in the short run.

 

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